Student housing co-ops launch crowdfunding bid

Student Co‑op Homes has launched a community share offer to build a co‑op student housing market in the UK and cultivate the next generation of co‑operators. 

Student co-ops are homes owned by student housing co-operatives and supporters and are established to promote, enable and up-scale student housing.

According to the umbrella organisation Student Co-op Homes, the student housing market is currently failing to provide affordable homes for students, rents are rising and student’s wellbeings are suffering as a result.

The main advantage of a student co-op is that the rent is only used to cover the costs of the co-op itself, such as mortgage repayment, council tax or repairs.

This, in turn, keeps the rent affordable and prevents it from being raised for private gain.

New student housing co-ops are forming, but Student Co-op Houses says they are struggling to find properties in a highly competitive market.

To help tackle the problem, the organisation is looking for investors to help student housing co-ops to gain access to property by acquiring buildings which will then be leased onto its members.

Currently, there are three student housing co-ops providing homes to more than 100 students at a below-market rent in Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Sheffield.

Ed Mayo, secretary-general of co-operatives UK said: ‘Co-ops provide solutions to many of today’s social problems and student housing has long since been overlooked. Student co-op homes share offer is an exciting opportunity to lay the groundwork for a revolution in student housing.

It is also a great example of how replicating a successful model can help to grow the UK co-operative economy.’

Student co-op homes director, Vivian Woodell said: ‘We’re issuing a community share offer to raise capital to buy property to lease to student housing co-ops at affordable rates. We need investors to help us grow the student co-op housing sector and give young people a chance to experience co-op values in practice, something that they can take into their working life and use to build a thriving co-operative economy.’

Earlier this year, NewStart published a feature looking at if student housing co-ops tackle the affordability crisis for UK students.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

Pippa Neill


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